CoTech Gathering 2018: Shared Hosting and Infrastructure

Hi everyone

I am ready at the Gathering to organise a session on shared hosting infrastructure and related services.

A small group has discussed this in the past and I’m interested to know whether people would like to pick it up again and see how far we can get. Maybe this could become a plan.

The ideas so far shared are along these lines:

Several CoTech members are already providing hosting services. This project would be about combining effort rather than replicating what is already available.

Some possible opportunities to expand further up and down the stack - eg we can now access co-operatively owned/run data centre space; we could look at running Open Stack.

Who would like to join a discussion?



Count me in, it also sounds like there might be some overlap with this proposal?

Yes, seems to be! The Ansible and Shared Infrastructure session sounds like two distinct topics to me. Maybe this is a useful disaggregation?

Sounds great. There are certainly some hosting needs for big coops and trade unions it would be nice to fill.

The suggested format of the event is a “hack” - e.g. Form teams and make something useful that can be built on - with side events - e.g. Talks and presentations that interested parties will dip out of their teams to take part in.

Are you proposing this as a talk/discussion or a hack (e.g. Create a pitch or business plan) or something else?

I’m certainly interested in picking back up this conversation

Would it be worth the co-ops that are providing hosting services posting a summary of what physical and virtual servers they are currently running to this thread?

We have kicked this around a few times (two years ago on Loomio and the wiki and last year on the wiki and on here and earlier this year on here) and I think we have the same issues with OpenStack and OpenShift etc:

  • Time / money to be able to learn how to deploy and maintain these stacks of tools
  • Hardware / money for hardware to run the infrastructure on
  • Front end / money to develop a front end for client metering and billing

It’s hard to see how we can get something like this rolling without a fair amount of cash…

Would it be worth people who know of specific needs, that can’t be met by the co-ops which are currently doing hosting, to post the rough requirements here?

I’ve spoken separately with @chris and with Danyl Strype at the Open conf in the summer about this. The idea of developing some sort of cooperative cloud/hosting offer at sufficient scale that could potentially enable some of the larger co-ops, unions, and maybe even some public sector orgs to get on board is attractive, but there are significant hurdles. At the lower end of the scale there’s the option of some sort of common social brand so that customers and prospects are aware that they are looking at a cooperative hosting provider that is part of some sort of alliance or collective.

Moving up the scale to deliver a collectively-owned cloud is another matter, and for my money the approach there is to identify and open a dialogue with half a dozen potential clients that might be willing to buy in the right conditions, work with them to understand what their issues are, and get them to fund the project on the basis that when they become customers they’ll get their investment back with a return (maybe in terms of lower fees).

The big cloud providers appear to be making good profits so it may well be possible to be competitive in the space, despite the perceived high cost of entry, by using cooperative approaches.

I’d also join on this! Thanks for the initiative @shaun.

I’ve just dipped into the librehosters meeting (along with @kate ) meetup and we had a VOIP call with who are related to Framasoft. So a lot of common themes and motivations floating around right now.

Looks like it. Let’s make sure we have these at different times since I don’t want to miss this :wink:

This! Anyone coming to this discussion needs to have this in mind if this is to move forward.

Hey, reposting from the other thread. Could you lot let me know when you’d like to host the session please?

4-5 (this one would need to finish promptly, assuming participants want to be in decisions)

4-5 (again, finish promptly)

Also, I’m gonna be that annoying person who asks you to keep in mind what the OUTCOMES of the session should be :wink:

Heyo, I’d love to avoid conflict with the timing of this and the Ansible session (which should be short enough). I’ve no real idea what times would suit for all but Thursday 3-4 or Friday 3-4 would suit me. cc @chris @nick. On another note it would be cool to not miss the website hack either … timetabling :smile:

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Well, the website hack will be running throughout the 2 days, so you’d only be missing the odd hour here and there to come to the sessions you want.

@chris @nick let me know when would suit for your other session.


Hi @polly, any time should be good for me I think, like @decentral1se I’m planning to go to the website hack and the Ansible and Shared Hosting and Infrastructure sessions.

By the way, did you see the idea of a international video call, for people to say hello to each other, at some point, over the two days?

Thanks for organising @polly :slight_smile: - I don’t have a very good overview of the timing of all the sessions, I’d like to be able to attend this on shared hosting, the ansible thing, and maybe the cobudget thing (which is rolled into governance I think).

Maybe the work in progress timetable could go on the wiki? (

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Yes indeed. I’ve added the timetable so far to the Wiki page:

Let me know if you need any amendments.


Thanks Polly for organising!

3-4pm works for me - but see below - and no-one else seems to have a problem with that. However I think we need more than an hour. The following slot is apparently empty, plus I have a telephone call 2pm-2.50pm on Thursday so would be pleased if there is less pressure on the 3pm start.

So, I would like to propose 3pm-4.30pm Thursday

Would that be OK? Or is that just plain awkward?


Sorry Polly - missed this

I’m happy to host 2-3 on Thursday - if still free. Let me know.

What I’m proposing really needs a much longer session than 1 hour, so all I can do in an hour is introduce it. If people want to carry on the discussion after the one hour session - will there be a space available to do that?

Otherwise might it be possible to Space4 in the future to hold a longer session at a later date?

Many thanks


Hi Bill. Wrong thread? I assume you don’t mean Shared Hosting and Infrastructure. Shaun

I have responded over on your thread for your session…CoTech Support for Co-ops & the Co-op Economy

(2-3 is now taken so please let me know a different slot)

Everyone happy with my proposed timing? Polly?

Hey Shaun,

I’ve given you the hour after (i.e. 3-5 on Thursday). Breaking things into half hour slots is just going to confuse me - so I guess that means you’ve got up to 2 hours in the room!!